Member, Professional Photographers of America

More Than A Picture...It's Wall Art! Part Two: Prints

We are going to continue our discussion about wall art in this blog post.  This is the second part in our five part series on the topic of wall art for your home or office. 

In the first part, we discussed the reasoning and beliefs behind offering our clients professional quality wall art opposed to pictures.  We then began discussing the first type of wall art that we currently offer - collages.  In case you missed it, you can find that here.

Part Two - Prints

In our area of Central Texas, clients typically say that they use one of three places to print their photographs - CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart.   Each of these places have their strong points.  CVS and Walgreens are drug stores and are typically known for their pharmacies.  Walmart is a big box retailer that sells just about anything and everything at fair prices.  I have never heard of anyone say that any of these places are known for their photo department.  They might have friendly staff.  They might get the printing job done.  However, they do not specialize in printing high quality, professional photographs that will last a lifetime.  The biggest issue with these store photo departments is the calibration, or lack of, within their machines.  All Walmart stores prints turn out differently.  All CVS stores prints turn out differently.  All Walgreens stores prints turn out differently. This can be very frustrating when trying to order prints!  I know!  I have been in that exact situation before! 

I can explain this until I am blue in the face, but the truth of the matter is that you must experience it to fully believe it. I recently put together a "test" if you will.  I sent the same file to these three stores, as well as the professional lab that I order my client's prints from.  The variation was shocking!  Have a look for yourself.

The same image, printed at four different places.  Can you tell which one is from CVS?  Walgreens? Walmart?  Professional lab?  Whether you can or not is only part of the issue.  The real issue is the lack of quality and consistency.  Answers:  1 - CVS2 - Walgreens3 - Professional Lab4 - Walmart

The same image, printed at four different places.  Can you tell which one is from CVS?  Walgreens? Walmart?  Professional lab?  Whether you can or not is only part of the issue.  The real issue is the lack of quality and consistency.  Answers:  1 - CVS2 - Walgreens3 - Professional Lab4 - Walmart

You can see the difference above, however it is much more visible in person.  That is why I will be bringing them to every session that way you can actually see the different, but you can also feel the difference.  I will attest that the professional print feels sturdier.  Walmart was in second place.  Third place was a tie between CVS and Walgreens.  Their paper felt extremely inexpensive and I honestly question how long those prints last. 

When I ordered these prints from CVS, I received a warning saying that the resolution was so low that the image would be pixelated. Needless to say, I received the print and did not see any pixilation.  I did send this same file to the professional lab to make a 16x20 canvas and it was not pixelated either, nor did I receive a warning.  If I was a client and I received this warning, I'd be a little upset at the photographer for giving me such low quality work! 

The only way to keep this situation from happening again is by ordering your prints through a professional lab, typically through a photographer.  You should get prints that match what you saw during the viewing of your photographs each and every time. 

At Smith Family Photography, we offer prints in a variety of sizes from wallets to 16x20 prints.  If you'd like something larger, we can definitely do that as well! 

Check back next week when we discuss Part Three:  Canvas.